The Ongoing Healthcare Debacle

01/20/2010 11:37 AM |


Huge numbers of people aren’t getting the healthcare they need and it doesn’t look like they’re going to get it soon enough.

Haitians, I mean. You didn’t think this was going to be about Scott Brown did you? Did you already forget about Haiti and move on to the next story in the news cycle?

Amy Goodman reported from Haiti again this morning, this time from the Port-au-Prince’s main hospital, the General Hospital, “the most important medical center in Haiti”. Some of the highlights?

– The hospital has no anesthesia or pain medication.
– It is wildly understaffed because of “security concerns,” which have been rebuffed by everyone on the ground, like the doctors out on the streets at 2 a.m. without protection. (Also, Amy Goodman is just fine.) “I don’t know if you guys were out last night,” one of the hospital’s doctors tells Goodman, “but you can hear a pin drop in this city. It’s a peaceful place, there is no war.”
– The morgue has been without power since the earthquake, and before the bodies were recently moved they were stacked four feet deep.
– As of this morning, the hospital only had enough supplies to keep operating rooms going for 12 hours.
– Staff had to go to the hardware store to buy hacksaws for amputations.
– People in need of simple surgeries are dying of infections.

Aid is being held up. It isn’t getting to the Haitians, apparently because the U.S. Military won’t deliver it. Texting the Red Cross and making a small donation isn’t enough. Call radio shows! Comment on blogs! Email your congressperson! Make a stink! Raise awareness! Express outrage!

Just because you threw money at the problem doesn’t mean it went away.